Do you ever give God “The List”?
I’ve found myself starting to give it to Him at night while I’m lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. I think the attitude of The List has changed a little over the years, but it’s still there. It used to be a list of what I wanted Him to do for me. “God, can you make her like me, can you get my parents on the same page as me, can you make my teachers/profs easier to get along with and more likely to ask the questions I already know on the exams, can you give me a job that pays well for not a lot of work and 4 weeks paid vacation, etc, etc”. Basically, “God, can you make the world at least semi-revolve around me and make my life easier?”
I think my current version of The List isn’t quite as self serving, but after I find my self starting to deliever it to Him, I realize that maybe I shouldn’t be. It is usually when I can’t fall asleep at night and my mind wanders. But I start giving God another List of what I’d like to see happen in my life. The items in The List don’t seem as petty as the others do, but I guess they’re still semi-me-centered. At least they involve Him! But this new List usually includes Him giving me a more dedicated heart to prayer, being a better husband/dad, knowing exactly what He wants me to do with my life, giving me a passion for His Word, making me be more dedicated to exercise (partly for general health reasons, but partly for body image reasons), to learn, experiment, and live more of the spiritual disciplines (fasting/solitude/meditation/etc.), to be a better steward of my time (both at work and at play.)
See, being a good dad and husband, loving to spend time in prayer/study are good things, right? Exercising my body and practicing spiritual disciplines are good things, right? So it’s okay to give God The List, right? But the sad, sad fact is that I’ll probably wake up the next morning (really tired because I didn’t get much sleep) and live my normal “me centered” life, pursuing either my own pleasure or my own comforts. And I don’t realize it til the end of the day when I look back on it. Then I’ll gather up a new resolve in my gut. “Tomorrow’s going to be the start of something new!” But I wake up and eat a handful of cookies for breakfast infront of BulldogBlitz instead of something healthy infront of The Word.
Does God get tired of my Lists?